When you play songs for pocket change, you learn how to turn on a dime.
Just ask LALA. She’s been busking since she was 10 years old, playing guitar and singing Merle Haggard’s “Mama Tried” for crowds at Market Square in Knoxville and later performing in front of popular tourist restaurants in Pigeon Forge – anywhere people were lined up waiting for a table.
“It’s where I fell in love with performing,” she said. “I played for older people who loved classic country, I played for younger kids who loved Taylor Swift, and I played for the crowd in between who loved James Taylor, Fleetwood Mac, and Chicago. I was connecting with a 7-year-old and someone who was 70 – and everyone in between.”
With your audience at arm’s reach it’s do or die on the sidewalk. And LALA learned early how to make fans and fill her guitar case with dollars with undeniable musical skills, razor sharp intuition, and a fearless drive to perform. Even if her mom had to drive her to work.
She was an early prodigy in a family that loved music but didn’t have lofty musical aspirations. But they recognized it in LALA as early as two when she sang “This is the Day the Lord Has Made” solo in church and they encouraged her every step toward an eventual career in Nashville.
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